A month ago, it was reported that a crane collapsed at a Sao Paulo stadium where workers were doing construction ahead of next year's Brazil World Cup. The collapse left three people dead, and little answers as to the cause of the tragic accident. According to a new report, however, the tragedy may have been caused due to worker's fatigue. Labor Industry regional superintendent Luis Antonio Medeiros claimed the operator of the collapsed crane had worked 18 straight days without rest.
Medeiros hedged, and said that the lack of a break wasn't necessarily the cause of the collapse, but did allow, "We think that's exhausting for someone who works such a delicate machine."
The World Cup is in less than six months, and Brazil is reportedly still behind on construction. Work on the Arena Corinthians, where the collapse took place, was actually almost completed at the time of the accident, and some workers were already celebrating.
If there is a causal link between the operator being fatigued and the deaths that followed, however, this tragedy is just another in what's sadly become a tradition of host nations' workers operating in hellish conditions prior to the rest of world converging onto sport's biggest events. Working conditions were reported as dismal in South Africa last cycle, and ridiculously underpaid workers—some of whom were making as little as $5 a week—went on strike prior to the 2010 World Cup. We've heard about brutal conditions in Russia for migrant workers ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympics, and already in Qatar, hundreds of modern-day slaves have died preparing for their World Cup, still eight and a half years away.